At the Cross Three Quarter Horse Ranch, we believe that horses are more than just the best way to get a ranch job done–they are a way of life. The world looks better when viewed between the ears of a trustworthy horse.
Wylie’s horse operation and training center is nestled in the heart of Montana’s Golden Triangle, 60 miles north of Great Falls, near the small town of Conrad. His cutting background is the key to the basic foundation of his horse training program. Level-headed and sure-footed cow horses are a necessity for gathering, sorting, and working cattle. His brother Barr and sister-in-law Colleen maintain a commercial beef herd along the wild and rugged Two Medicine River country. Wylie takes advantage of their wide open spaces, natural obstacles, and abundant livestock to create a horse that understands life outdoors. In Conrad, Wylie utilizes a spacious 80′ x 180′ indoor arena to work on the performance aspects of the program. He works year-round regardless of the weather.
Wylie takes special care in creating a solid foundation with no short cuts. His program is not about big bits or sharp spurs. He strives to build the quiet confidence a horse needs to do a job well. A snaffle bit is used on all young horses, and he often goes back to the snaffle to re-supple older horses. He focuses on developing a horse that is light and supple in the face, poll, shoulder, and hip. He requires that a horse move any part of its body without resistance. The horses are trained to be flexible and relaxed when asked to move in any direction, at any speed. Sale horses are guaranteed sound with no vices. He stands behind his program 100 percent. If a horse is not as promised, he will gladly take it back without questions. Wylie is proud of the testimonials from satisfied customers.
Wylie has taken great care and time to develop a consistent program to create Cross Three Ranch geldings, cutters, penners, sorters, and using horses. He takes pride in turning out calm, confident, trusting colts–and dependable, athletic saddle/performance horses. Wylie believes it’s important to further his education by continually riding with successful trainers and instructors, including Chubby Turner, Paul Hansma, Curt Pate, Lindy Burch, Buck Brannaman, Pat Wyse, Jake Barnes, and Dale Woodard.
He competes regularly at NCHA cutting events and ranch ropings. Wylie has NCHA earnings of over $100,000. His father, Rib Gustafson, was instrumental in bringing the first quality-bred Quarter Horses to northern Montana in the 1950s.
Wylie works daily, training and tuning performance and ranch horses, using a program that combines ranch work with regular exposure to cattle and buffalo. He varies the training program with arena work, outdoor work, dry work, and live work, so a horse does not become one dimensional. Every horse at the ranch learns how to handle a rope, drag a log, open a gate, cross a creek, and learn the basics of a versatile ranch horse. He regularly trailers horses to roping and cutting events–where they learn to stand tied and relaxed–away from home.
Versatility is an important aspect of Wylie’s training program. It’s proven itself by winning top honors at the 2005 Bonina Ranch Horse Sale, where Wylie won the All-Around Ranch Versatility Horse Contest against some of the Northwest’s toughest competition.
We encourage you to call or e-mail for more information on any of Wylie’s fine horses. Better yet, come on out to Conrad for a visit and a test drive! We’re easy to find and have plenty of room to park your trailer. For serious inquiries, video tapes of horses are available. We can recommend reputable haulers for transportation anywhere in the country.